How to use Coffee for Diabetes


Next time you have your cup of Joe you might feel even more joy knowing that some substances in coffee are good for your diabetes or at least are inversely associated with the risk for DM type 2. New major studies are all suggesting the beneficial properties of coffee for diabetes. Unfortunately caffeine is not one of these good things in coffee. Sorry.  At least the role of caffeine in risk for diabetes is unclear but caffeine is not harmful, but it just doesn’t have the same beneficial properties as some others in coffee. The good ones are a complex mixture of minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other compounds which affect glucose metabolism. The results of these studies were quite encouraging especially because coffee is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world.

In a Dutch cohort study including 17,111 adults it was shown that those drinking at least 7 cups of coffee per day (wow) were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. So start drinking more coffee. In another study from the American Society for Nutrition regular consumption of coffee and potentially black tea, but not green tea, is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In all studies coffee intake and especially decaffeinated coffee was inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes. The studies include Europeans descent populations as well as Asians. How does exactly works.

One hypothesis is that coffee’s high antioxidant activity, and a high antioxidant contribution to the diet may reduce free radical generation, thus protecting the pancreatic beta cells from oxidative stress or potentially promoting insulin sensitivity in the peripheral tissues. Another possible beneficial substance is Magnesium for which coffee is a good source; it could explain some of the inverse association between coffee intake and the risk for type 2 diabetes. Magnesium is known to have beneficial effects on carbohydrate metabolism. Again the role of caffeine is less known and the literature available is mixed but leaning to “it just doesn’t help but it does not harm”  so yes you have one more excuse to grab that good cup of coffee.



  1. Caffeinated and Decaffeinated Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and a Dose-Response Meta-analysis
  2. Chlorogenic Acid Stimulates Glucose Transport in Skeletal Muscle via AMPK Activation: A Contributor to the Beneficial Effects of Coffee on Diabetes
  3. Role of coffee in modulation of diabetes risk
  4. Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study
  5. Coffee intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: the Multiethnic Cohort